Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Architecting Software for Freedom in Networked Services

Filed under

Free Software history is full of examples of server software that users could install and run autonomously on their own computers, developed to promote server-side user autonomy and decentralization, but that third parties install and run for multiple users, defeating these motivations.

It has happened to such widely-used communication and publishing services as instant messaging, email hosting, blogging, social media, and source code hosting, and to domain-specific software as for managing cities, schools, libraries, shops, restaurants, etc.

An important observation is that it has often happened even when software developers and server maintainers embraced decentralized (federated) architectures, and actively promoted decentralization by encouraging users to install their own servers.

When users' own computing is performed as a service for the users on a server controlled by a third party, the users relinquish control over their computing and their data. That's SaaSS, and that's why it's freedom-denying. If users ran Free Software on a server under their own control instead, they'd retain freedom and privacy. Alas, when they compare the costs of maintaining their own servers and IT staff with outsourcing the server to a service provider that runs the same software for multiple clients, the economies of scale are irresistible for all but the most freedom-concerned users.

These economies of scale tend to lead all server software to outsourcing and (re)centralization, and thus all server-side computing software to SaaSS. Even server software that is Free Software! It doesn't follow that it's unethical to develop Free Software for server-side computing, but even if it's developed with the intent of promoting users' freedoms, the economies of scale it enables play against this goal, driving most users to SaaSS instead. It's a poor strategy to liberate users.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

digiKam 7.7.0 is released

After three months of active maintenance and another bug triage, the digiKam team is proud to present version 7.7.0 of its open source digital photo manager. See below the list of most important features coming with this release. Read more

Dilution and Misuse of the "Linux" Brand

Samsung, Red Hat to Work on Linux Drivers for Future Tech

The metaverse is expected to uproot system design as we know it, and Samsung is one of many hardware vendors re-imagining data center infrastructure in preparation for a parallel 3D world. Samsung is working on new memory technologies that provide faster bandwidth inside hardware for data to travel between CPUs, storage and other computing resources. The company also announced it was partnering with Red Hat to ensure these technologies have Linux compatibility. Read more

today's howtos

  • How to install go1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

    In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to install go on Ubuntu 22.04 Golang is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and use. It is built-in concurrency and has a robust standard library. It is reliable, builds fast, and efficient software that scales fast. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel-type systems enable flexible and modular program constructions. Go compiles quickly to machine code and has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. In this guide, we are going to learn how to install golang 1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04. Go 1.19beta1 is not yet released. There is so much work in progress with all the documentation.

  • molecule test: failed to connect to bus in systemd container - openQA bites

    Ansible Molecule is a project to help you test your ansible roles. I’m using molecule for automatically testing the ansible roles of geekoops.

  • How To Install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, MongoDB is a high-performance, highly scalable document-oriented NoSQL database. Unlike in SQL databases where data is stored in rows and columns inside tables, in MongoDB, data is structured in JSON-like format inside records which are referred to as documents. The open-source attribute of MongoDB as a database software makes it an ideal candidate for almost any database-related project. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MongoDB NoSQL database on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
  • Self-host a Ghost Blog With Traefik

    Ghost is a very popular open-source content management system. Started as an alternative to WordPress and it went on to become an alternative to Substack by focusing on membership and newsletter. The creators of Ghost offer managed Pro hosting but it may not fit everyone's budget. Alternatively, you can self-host it on your own cloud servers. On Linux handbook, we already have a guide on deploying Ghost with Docker in a reverse proxy setup. Instead of Ngnix reverse proxy, you can also use another software called Traefik with Docker. It is a popular open-source cloud-native application proxy, API Gateway, Edge-router, and more. I use Traefik to secure my websites using an SSL certificate obtained from Let's Encrypt. Once deployed, Traefik can automatically manage your certificates and their renewals. In this tutorial, I'll share the necessary steps for deploying a Ghost blog with Docker and Traefik.